There has been a lot of coverage of the news that Public Interest Registry (PIR), operator of the .org registry, is going to be acquired by a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. Many of these articles have been highly critical of the announced deal. Here are a handful of the articles and blog posts I have seen that were written in the wake of the PIR / .org acquisition announcement:
- Private equity firm buys .org domain months after ICANN lifted price caps – Ars Technica
- ICANN RACES TOWARDS REGULATORY CAPTURE: THE GREAT .ORG HEIST – The Longest Now
- The interesting connection between the .Org deal and ICANN – Domain Name Wire
- Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed – The Register
- Nonprofit Community Stands Together to Protect .ORG – Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
PIR also published a website that has answers to several questions people have asked about the deal. In addition, Internet Society CEO Andrew Sullivan published a blog post in response to a public petition aimed at halting the deal.
I want to share a notable tweet I saw that was posted by Esther Dyson. I do not know Ms. Dyson, but her biography on ICANN’s website states that Ms. Dyson is “former Chairman of the ICANN Board.” The biography also states that she “was appointed as one of ICANN’s nine initial directors in October 1998.” Ms. Dyson has been involved with ICANN since its inception, and I think her opinion is valued and respected.
In her tweet that was posted yesterday, Ms. Dyson does not mince her words about the deal:
— Esther Dyson (@edyson) November 26, 2019
Namecheap, one of the largest domain registrars, has also been outspoken regarding the deal. The company’s public complaint and protest was referenced in this article in the BBC. Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall referenced the tweet from Ms. Dyson earlier today:
Nice to see her speak up here. ICANN is no longer upholding the values it originally set out with. https://t.co/YVUknL4ZYh
— Richard Kirkendall (@NameCheapCEO) November 26, 2019
There have been a variety of protests, appeals, and petitions aimed at prohibiting this deal. I do not have the expertise to opine about whether or not this deal can or will be blocked, but it is going to be interesting to follow as this continues to develop.